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A Deadly Brew: 4: The Fourth Chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew (Chronicles of Matthew Bartholomew) Paperback – 17 Jun 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (17 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751520071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751520071
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susanna Gregory was a police officer in Leeds before taking up an academic career. She has served as an environmental consultant, doing fieldwork with whales, seals and walruses during seventeen field seasons in the polar regions, and has taught comparative anatomy and biological anthropology.

She is the creator of the Thomas Chaloner series of mysteries set in Restoration London as well as the Matthew Bartholomew books, and now lives in Wales with her husband, who is also a writer.

Product Description

Review

A good, serious and satisfying read (IRISH TIMES)

Book Description

* The fourth chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew continues the adventures of the 14th century Cambridge physician when he is called to attend to two deaths from some poisoned wine.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "sberkieta" on 20 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
'A deadly brew'continues Susanna Gregory's fantastic Matthew Bartholomew series of books. The town of Cambridge is still recovering from the plague. People are scared, the townsfolk are rebellious and the university is unsupportive. Three University members are poisoned and once again the duty falls on Matthew Bartholomew a Michaelhouse college physician and scholar to find the murderer.
This book is filled with intrigue,suspense and mystery. There are more twists and red herrings then in any other historical fiction. The medieval city of Cambridge is brought to life with the sights and smells, fears and prejudice that characterised it in the medieval period. The differences in lifestyle between Town and Church are cleverly highlighted in this graphic book which is as good as any Ellis Peters book I have ever read. What makes this series of books exceptional is the characters who have so much depth and identity that you cant help liking them. This is a series of books that is more complex and compelling than any other historical fiction I have read and I can assure you that you will never guess the murderer or motive like you can with others.
A deadly brew is an amazing read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Cranson VINE VOICE on 4 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another well written and plotted murder and smuggling mystery. It includes almost the whole gammut of human 'negative' emotions and reactions, from greed and revenge to assumption of guilt, fear and double-dealing. Nothing is quite what it seems almost up to the last page, with the reader not being too sure if they can take any character wholly at face value. This is not to say that truth and honesty don't get a look in, it's just that even the 'good guys' are sometimes drawn into the 'gray' areas of life.
The building of the main characters from one book to the next - Bartholomew, Brother Michael, Tulyet, Cynric etc - lends an authenticity to the proceedings. This is helped by the fact that some of the characters - both main and bit-parts - are actual historical figures.
Once again the smells, sight, sounds and strange mixture of philosophy & religion are brought vividly to life. At turns you wish you'd been there to experience life on a (sometimes) simpler level, but then you encounter the lack of sanitation, cleanliness & 'comforts' we take for granted today. How people managed to survive when medicine was not much more than astrology,symbolism & superstition is anyone's guess. The ongoing fight of Matthew Bartholomew against fear and ignorance, makes one wonder how medicine actually managed to progress to where we are at nowadays (!)
Another wonderful evocation of the history of Cambridge, and the truth that - although over 600 years ago - it is still greed, hate and revenge that motivates most crime.
Recommended.
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By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is the fourth in the series and regular readers of the books are reacquainted with the main character of the physician, Matthew Bartholomew. These books have a loyal fan base and are getting better and better.

Besides practising medicine, Matthew is also a teacher at a Cambridge college. The profession of physician is still frowned upon by some, and feared by many. Even more so is Matthew’s ability to decipher the cause of an unnatural death, by examination of the body. This ability often puts him at odds with his colleagues at Michaelhouse, who find it little short of the work of the devil.

A new, and very well endowed college has opened and Matthew Bartholomew is caught in the middle of some petty squabbling among the academics as they all vie for position as the new appointments are made. The town of Cambridge and its residents have still not recovered from the havoc wreaked by the plague and the winter and spring have not helped, being extremely wet. There is a fever outbreak amongst the poorer people of the town and the fact that the Cambridge colleges are gaining a reputation for their wealth is making the tension between the townsfolk and the students even more precarious.

On top of all this there is a death, a student, killed it is reported by poisoned wine. Then there is a second victim, Dittone, the deputy master of the new college. But the puzzling thing is that there seems to be little or no connection between the master and the student. Bartholomew must try to solve the mystery before the town and the universities are at one another's throat.

For those who are interested in mediaeval fiction and have not yet encountered this series the books are well worth a read
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By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
A DEADLY BREW (Hist. Mys-Matthew Bartholomew-England-1353) - VG
Gregory, Susanna - 4th in series
Little, Brown and Company, UK Hardcover, 1998 - ISBN: 0316640573

First Sentence: The afternoon had been growing gradually darker as storm clouds massed overhead.

It's the winter of 1353, the plague is recently past but a worry and with the formal rains physician Matthew Barthomew is concerned about the spread of fever. That fear is over shadowed by the sudden and violent deaths by poisoning of three people. He traces the poison to wine and smuggling operations that must be stopped before more people die, including Matthew.

Matthew Bartholomew has become one of my favorite characters. Trained by Arabs, his methods may raise eyebrows but they are effective.

The dialogue, particularly between Matthew and his friend Michael, is sharp and has an element to wry humor. Michael is a little darker in this fourth book. He is still Mathew's friend, but he has his own agenda as well.

Gregory creates such a strong sense of time and place. You can feel the cold, wet, mud outside and mustiness inside and contrasts that with the warmth and comfort of the convent at Denny. You also see the contrasts and conflicts between the religion and science, the University and the town, the wealthy and the poor.

The mystery is more involved than you first think with many layers, twists and some very good suspense. I am anxious to read more of the series.
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